Sustainably Yours, Tim King. Marketing Writer | Communications Specialist

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Canned Heat “Let’s Work Together Top of the Pops” via YouTube

Dig those groovy beats, man. A classic tune from back when feel-good-pop-music still had something to say that was worth listening too.

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Henry, On Hiring

Do not hire a man Quote from Thoreau

Writing without seeing

Hands down, writing this series of blog posts for Armor Guys website was one of the most technically difficult writing assignments that I completed in 2017. Instantly educating yourself about new technology, processes, or in this case an entirely new material can be a challenge, but it’s exciting too.

If you haven’t heard about Graphene yet, I’m sure you will soon…it has the potential to change everything.

armor-guys-kyorene-cut-a2-graphene-work-glove-12-pairs-5d7

Prell? Yeah, Just F’ ing Prell. It’s green. It cleans your hair. ‘Nuf Said.

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“Prell leaves hair radiantly alive!” So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Sometimes, you stumble across something that  reminds you of how simple things used to be.

In a world filled with nourishing, hydrating, volumizing, cleansing, nutrition, resurrection, tear free, reparative, stimulating, revitalizing,therapeutic, silky, moisture rich, anti itch, dandruff preventing, organic, gluten free, bodifying, aloe, all natural, smoothing, deep shine, endurance, sleek, mango-coconut-vanilla infused shampoos out there…I was both shocked (and honestly, more than-a-little pleased) to notice, sticking out like a green thumb, amongst the overwhelming visual menagerie of hair care products, a tube of Prell.

In a world obsessed with new, personalized options for just about everything, how could something as simple as Prell still exist?

I mean Prell? Just Prell. When your hair is dirty, use it, and your hair will get clean. Huh? How about that?

I guess there’s (still) something to be said for doing just one thing and doing it well.

Want to learn more? Check out ClickAmericana.com

~TK

Got an example of a simple something that’s stood the test of time? Tell me about it

Throwaway Branding Lessons From Starbucks

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Say what you want about them, but Starbucks really knows how to be Starbucks. On my last visit I remembered to ask if they had any used coffee grounds that I could use at home in my compost pile. One of the baristas gleefully said “absolutely” and scurried off into the back room.

Moments later she reemerged with nifty, heavy duty bag stuffed to the brim with spent grounds. Then, folding the top over (paper lunch bag style) she tossed a handy dandy oversized sticker / label on the front to hold the closed.

Now, could they have sent me home with a generic white plastic trash bag? Of course. Would i have been just as happy to dump it’s contents onto my compost? Probably.

Will I compare the Starbucks bag with whatever container some other coffee shop sends me home with the next time I ask THEM for their old.grounds. Absolutely, and forever more.

The Lesson: There are NO small opportunities to reinforce your brand in the minds of your customers and prospects….only small-minded marketers who refuse to believe that it’s the little things – done right – that can have the biggest effect on a companies brand.

What opportunities do you take to remind your customers of why they do business with you ?

TK

A Social Media S.O.S | Why Marketing Fundamentals will ALWAYS Matter

On the surface, the use of Social Media as a new way to influence buyer behavior may seem positively revolutionary. Sadly, it’s not…and the content creators that realize this will be the only ones who will succeed in making a name for themselves, and the products/services they hawk.

While it can be said that Social Media marketing is a faster, flashier and more intuitive way to communicate with customers, it’s only one part of the equation…and believe it or not, it’s not even the most important part. [Gasp!]

Yes, today’s consumers are purchasing different products, from different places, in different ways than in the past.

However, the reasons WHY they buy ‘Brand X’ or ‘Brand Y’ have remained constant for as long as people have been buying and selling things from each other.

Marketing - Same as it ever was.

Marketing – Same as it ever was.

OK. So why DO customers buy?

Anyone walking into The Apple Store (or going online) to buy the latest and greatest iPhone 6,7,8… has very likely gone through the same internal, emotional decision process that my parents did when they bought their first microwave oven.

….which is the same emotional decision process that my grandparents used to buy their first color TV.

….which is the same emotional decision process that my great-grandparents used to buy their first car.

Someday, my kids will go through the same internal process when choosing their first virtual-reality vacation package.

To be effective, all marketing – meaning everything that a customer reads, hears, experiences, shares and believes – must tap into something more than just whatever the functional purpose of the product or service is. In the past, this meant paying attention to the packaging and the promotion of a product in newspaper and magazine ads.

Today, those communication channels may have shifted from paper to pixels, but the marketing messages that successful brands are using to connect with their customers online have not.

 

Instead of newspapers and magazines, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and dozens of other online social media services are where people turn today for information and entertainment.

The good news (for marketers) is that because of social media, there are now more opportunities than ever to communicate directly with customers and prospects.

The bad news is that there are also many more ways companies can screw that up, including by not having an online presence at all.

(Coincidentally, it would appear that this dilemma is nothing new. Check out – New Ways to Reach Your Customers – Harvard Business Review, July 1981) 

Marketing Motivators: Learn them, know them, live them.

Customers make purchased based not only on what the product can do (rational) but also because of how it makes them feel (emotional).

marketing-schools.org

It’s what’s inside the customers head that really matters.

The proportion of one to the other depends on the person and the specific product.

For example the emotional appeal of one brand of cooking oil over another is probably much less than it would be for one type of car, article of clothing or brand of cell phone that one chooses over another.

Marketing pros have labeled these emotional triggers as the “5 Marketing Motivators” and they include (1) Fear, (2) Greed, (3) Guilt, (4) Exclusivity and (5) Need for Approval.

Here are few well-known examples of ad copy that set these motivators into action.

The 5 Marketing Motivators 

  • Fear – “Supplies are limited. Call now!”  “Don’t leave home without it.” “For a   limited time only.” “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
  • Greed – “You deserve a break today.” “The best a man can get.” “Don’t just buy a car, invest in a Volvo.”
  • Guilt – “Every Kiss Begins with Kay.” “Choosy moms choose Jiff.” “It’s 8 pm, do you know where your children are?” “Juicy Juice. All natural.100% Juice.”
  • Exclusivity – “Membership has its privileges.” “Custom made.” “Limited edition.” “Hand crafted.”
  • Need for Approval – Fueled by celebrity endorsements, expert reviews/recommendations, peer pressure, word-of-mouth and the ‘wisdom of crowds’.

But…doing business is different today, isn’t it?

There’s no doubt that many aspects of running a business today are very different than they were just five or ten years ago. If you were ask anyone walking down the street today, they’ll tell you that “things change” all the time and that “the world is a different place now” – they are right.

Holding on to a customer’s loyalty today – and ideally encouraging them to bring you more customers – requires more than just providing a good quality product or service. Customers today want, and often expect, to be treated with common courtesy before the sale, respect during the sale and appreciation after the sale.

Check out the McKinsey paper on customer lifecycle management  (CLM) best practices.

Successful companies are accomplishing this by communicating with their customers on a regular basis. And social media channels are allowing them to do it more effectively than ever before.

These businesses are educating customers about the benefits of buying their products, congratulating them when they do buy, reminding them when it’s time to buy again, rewarding them for doing so and encouraging them to tell all their Friends along the way too.

Are you talking with customers or @ customers?

Thanks to the speed and power of mobile devices and the Internet, this truly is the age of “what have you done for me lately” when it comes to keeping a customer happy and coming back for more.

Remember, its called Social Media not SELLING Media. Here’s Hubspot’s take on ‘Social Selling’ during the Buyer’s Journey.

The bottom line: If all you ever say to your social media audience is BUY-BUY-BUY, be prepared for them to say the same thing to you:

Attention All Online Marketers: Act now…or it’ll be Bye Bye Bye! for you.

The sooner that companies not only accept, but also engage withByebyebye their customers’ praises and complaints, the sooner they will be able to understand what their customers really want – and what they really don’t.

If not, the competition is only a click away.

~ TK

 

 

The last word –

File this little nugget of wisdom away into the back of your mind. When you’re struggling to decide whether or not you should be engaged with customers on social media, ask yourself “Do my customers want me there?”

The Purpose of ANY Business is to create and keep a Customer. To do that, companies must do the things that make people want to do business with them. All other truths on this subject are merely derivative.

Ted Levitt, author, editor and professor at the Harvard Business School penned these words in his book, ‘The Marketing Imagination‘ way back in 1983. IMHO, truer words have yet to be published on the subject since.

Marketing imagination book cover

 

Peter Troast – Takeaways from ACI New Orleans 2015 -EnergyCircle PRO

Here’s a great recap of the business end of the home performance industry from one of the best in the business. The post offers some broad strokes on where the industry is headed – and how it will get there – and also some very good action items that can (and should) be factored into your marketing strategy today.

ACI New Orleans 2015: My Big Takeaways | Energy Circle PRO.

Nailed it: Grist: 5 most absurd Super Bowl commercials | Grist

These clever folks saw through the smoke and mirrors of the Consumer Bowl ads. These 60 second diversions were (somewhat) entertaining…just like Lipstick on a Pig should be. Remember, our purchasing decisions help decide our fate. Choose appropriately.

http://grist.org/list/5-most-absurd-super-bowl-commercials/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520Jan%25203%2520%255BB%255D&utm_campaign=daily&utm_content=B

Via Seth Godin’s Blog: Does “stationary” matter?

Of curse they do! There’s simply no askews for not paying attention to each and every interaction that prospects and customers have with your brand…from the moment just before they walk in the door, until they’ve purchased and used your product or service with 100% satisfaction.

Pay attention people. When in doubt, simplify the message to avoid misteaks.

Otherwise, you risk creating a shadow of doubt in the back of a customers mind – a doubt or uncertainty that a competitor will be more than happy to exploit – for their benefit.

Remember, even if you’re on the right track, you’re still gonna get run over if you’re only standing still.

Read Seth Godin’s post here:

Seth’s Blog: Does “stationary” matter?.

Marc Ecko: Give Customers What They Don’t Know They Want | Inc.com

” You need to be able to both satisfy and surprise your buyers.”

via Marc Ecko: Give Customers What They Don’t Know They Want | Inc.com.

Ecko throws out a few pearls of wisdom here – in a very no bullsh/t way – but it’s nothing really new or revolutionary. That in itself is kind of refreshing and perhaps “revolutionary” for this day and age.

Basically, it’s about adapting your message and product delivery according to the current channels of communication...but what you say and what you do remains the same.

Do the things that make customers want to do business with you. 

He reinforces my belief that you can learn just as much (if not more) by first studying the Masters of Communication, Sales and Marketing, such as:

Theodore Levitt

Jay Levinson

~ Zig Ziglar

~ Steve Jobs

Who did I miss ? Who inspires you to cut through the clutter and focus ONLY on delivering to customers “insanely great” products, service and value ? Let me know.

~ Seth Godin

~ Mark Twain (yes, Mark Twain!)

 

"Known to Everyone - Liked by All" ~ Is there any better goal for your brand?

“Known to Everyone – Liked by All” ~ Is there any better goal for your brand?

 

 

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